Friday, October 21, 2016

Finishes and many WIPs

I finished a quilt last night and washed it today. It is one of the clean-out-this-stash donation quilts. It's really cute but it doesn't look great on the brown carpet. The middle is flannel including the inner dark blue border.

The quilt is 50" by 43" with Dream Cotton batting. I used Aurifil thread for the piecing and the quilting.

The back is brushed cotton. I quilted this in a new-to-me design that I recently learned. It's large loops in a rather controlled design.

I really am serious about my clean-out-this-stash project. I'm going through fabric and pulling out quilts. It's kind of fun! Here are some WIPs (works-in-progress):
blue and yellow jelly roll race quilt waiting for a binding
red lasagna quilt top
red lasagna with sunlight quilt top
red, white, and blue lasagna quilt top

I think I have 13 quilts or more cut and kitted. There definitely will be more!

Here are some peeks at the design wall as I'm figuring out what I want to do.
sailboat quilt
pink pepto quilt
circus quilt
I hope to have a few more tops sewn together soon - I have a 3 1/2 day retreat next week. 

Today I decided to cut a scrappy Trip Around the World quilt. As I was looking for some strips to sew, I pulled out almost enough blocks-in-progress for the quilt. It is now a kit waiting for attention. 

I'm trying to make easy quilts because I'd like to get them done. I am enjoying this whole process though and I AM MAKING PROGRESS! 
I also finished a summer sweater - I know it's a little late or maybe very early! I made a sweater early in the summer with the same bamboo yarn. After wearing it, I found that the bamboo has a tendency to stretch. This sweater was already started so I decided to finish it. I probably won't wear either sweater vey much but it's there if I want it.

It's hard to get a good picture of a sweater laying flat!

This past Tuesday, the 18th, was the 50th anniversary of my 18th birthday. We were gone much of the day but I was able to sew while Ray fixed a delicious dinner. One stop during our day was at my favorite quilt shop. I bought batting but NO fabric! 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Blue Jelly Roll Race with Brights

The first blue jelly roll race quilt is done. There are two - I'm not as fond of the other one (no photos yet) but it will get finished. It needs to be sandwiched and quilted. These are both made from the blue stash that I've been clearing out. 

For this finished quilt, I decided to use only strips that read solid so I had to use some of the shorter strips too. I found some 2 1/2" bright colored squares It's amazing what I find in my studio! and decided to put one in between each strip. 

For the back, I used a bright print that I bought in Sault Set Marie, Ontario, Canada last spring.  The binding is left over pieces from other projects. Am I the only one that saves all of my leftovers so I can use them later?

I used Dream Cotton batting and quilted this in straight lines with my walking foot.

This is a donation quilt and I hope someone finds it bright and cherry.


I've now attacked my red fabric! I have about 12 yards, mostly fat quarters, that I plan to gift to friends. The rest is cut in 2 1/2" strips, 3 1/2" pieces/strips, strings, and 5" squares. I think I've removed about 25 - 27 yards of red fabric. The good news is that I can now close the red fabric drawer! 
Sorting reds while many blue strips remain on design wall.

I've already kitted one quilt using 5" red squares and 2" red squares with white surrounding them. The next idea is for a Lasagna quilt using the 3 1/2" pieces and strips.

Here are the 3 1/2" strips. I was sorting by fabric - there are MANY!

I have started the Lasagna Quilt. This is similar to a Jelly Roll Race but each row is pieced and then the rows are sewn together. I'm thinking that I have plenty of fabric to do more than one.

I have a large drawer where I have decided to keep my 2 1/2 " strips. At last count there were over 300 strips -  someday I plan to use them! I also have all of the strings in a VERY large basket. The next time my grandsons are here and want to sew, I think we'll work on string blocks. 

I do like organization and I feel that I am slowly regaining control of my stash...

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Dinosaur quilt done and more stash busting...

The Dinosaur Flannel Quilt is finished. You may recall that I am trying to clean out some of my stash. Everything used for this quilt is from my stash.

This quilt is 47" square and has Dream Cotton batting. We aren't having great weather so all photos are done inside. I just finished a Craftsy class - The Secrets of Free-Motion Quilting with Christina Cameli so I decided to try out a few of the designs.

The backing is a blue flannel with darker blue dots. The binding is orange cotton. 

I think the binding really helped bring out the colors in this donation quilt.


I am still in the clean it out - use it up mode. I decided to focus on blue cotton fabric for awhile.
I still have lots of flannel
. I went through ALL of my blue fabric and chose my least favorites.  I also grabbed most of the smaller pieces which were some of my favorites. My big criteria was that the fabric was blue or blue and white - no other colors. During the process, I found some other cut up pieces and a leader/ender quilt in progress that got hidden away! Oh my!

I pressed the blues and cut most into 2 1/2" strips. There are over 100 WOF strips. There are a few hundred strips that are shorter than WOF - anywhere from 5" to 30" long. Most are well over 20" long. There are some 2" squares, 2 1/2" squares, 4 1/2" squares, 3 1/2" triangles for HSTs, and some circles. And there are many strings - strips that are 1" to 2" wide and varying lengths.

Here is a photo in the midst of my pressing/cutting/sorting.

During all this, I told Ray that I thought my fabric stash was out of control. I asked if he had anything in his life that was so out of control. With a smile, he said yes - his wife!

In all, I've cut up between 19 - 20 yards of blue fabric. The good part is that I can now close both drawers that contain blue fabric! Of course I have a zillion strips to store somewhere.

I think a Jelly Roll Race Quilt is next up - blue, of course, maybe with a little yellow. Yes, I have yellow fabric...

Will this use what you have phase ever end???

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Apple Cinnamon Granola Bars

I found this recipe and had to try it. I have seen a number of granola bar recipes that are similar and I think you can make changes and the bars will still turn out. I used dried apples but I think any dried fruit that is a bit chewy will work.

Healthy Chewy Apple Cinnamon Granola Bars

1 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1/4 cup flax seeds
4 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal (I used Rice Krispies)
1/2 cup dried apples, diced (I cut up with kitchen shears)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 by 9 inch baking dish by spraying it with nonstick spray and lining it
with parchment paper, leaving excess hanging over the sides for easy removal later.
2. Spread oats, nuts, and flax seeds out in an even layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
3. Bake for 5-8 minutes, watching closely for the oats to just start to brown and become fragrant.
4. In a small sauce pan, bring honey, coconut oil, and brown sugar to a simmer over medium heat. Stir to dissolve
sugar for 2-4 minutes. Remove from heat, add vanilla extract, and set aside.
5. In a large bowl, combine puffed rice cereal, dried apples, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the oat mixture, and pour in
the honey mixture. Stir until everything is well coated.
6. Press into your prepared 9 by 9 inch square baking dish. Use another piece of parchment paper on top to pack it
down and press it into the corners.
7. Place them in the refrigerator to chill for an hour before removing from the baking dish to cut into bars. Serve at
room temperature.

You might want to stop over at Lovely Little Kitchen. She has a number of recipes that sound wonderful.  I'll be trying the Blueberry Muffin Energy Bites soon!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Two dpn cases

I spent some time earlier this week making holders for my double pointed knitting needles (dpns). I just sketched a pattern and it seems to be fine. The fabric was in my stash - in fact it's the scraps from the backing of the quilt Prism that I just finished. I free motion quilted the outside of each case but I don't think you can see it. 

I have needles in varying lengths so I made two different sized cases.

The larger case folded in half (it could be folded in thirds)

is about 15" wide when opened flat.

Here it is with the top flap open. Velcro holds the flap in place. Both cases are made such that the needles don't have enough room to fall/drop out of the case when the flap is closed. This larger case holds needle that are 7" to 10" in length.

The smaller case is for needles up to 6" in length. This is folded in half but can also be folded in thirds.

This case is also about 15" wide.

When the top flap is open, you can see the shorter needles and a pocket near the top. You can also see that I did a poor job of smoothing down the flap.

The pocket is for a needle gauge so I can check the sizes of the needles. The needle gauge shown is fairly large; I have smaller ones around but one wasn't handy when I took the photo.

Now I just need to figure out a way to mark the size for each set of needles. I have some ideas - I just need to find a scrapbooking supply store. 

I haven't decided if I need a way to make the cases stay closed. I don't think it is going to be a problem. I could used velcro or a tie. That will come if and when I decide it is needed.

For now, I love having these needles organized and easy to grab and take with me.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Parfrey's Glen in Devil's Lake State Park

Wisconsin's Devil's Lake State Park is a couple of hours from our home. We left home Tuesday morning under sunny skies with a light breeze and temperatures in the high 50s. The trees aren't changing much in the park yet.

Our first stop was the South Shore picnic area of Devil's Lake. We had overcast skies, wind (not a light breeze), and the temperatures were in the high 50s. It was COLD!

Plans for hiking and shooting photographs were quickly put on hold - it was too windy to shoot and a little too cold to hike since we were not prepared for cold weather.

We drove around the lake. When we got to the North Shore, we were more sheltered from the wind and the day was much more tolerable. 

We headed to Parfrey's Glen, one of four Wisconsin State Natural Areas within Devil's Lake State Park. The long, narrow, rocky ravine/canyon was more protected. We had a beautiful hike which wasn't the easiest but it was fun.

It started as a nice flat trail

along side a stream.

Ray took pictures...

The trail became very rocky

and many times, we had to ford the stream or walk in it. 

Looking back, the trees were just starting to turn.

As we went deeper into the canyon, it narrowed.

The rocks were getting huge! Can you see the people? Yes, we climbed up and around those huge boulders.

 And there were more...

until all of a sudden, there was a waterfall! This was a wonderful place to stop for a snack. I enjoyed sitting there for a few minutes.

Then we headed back down and out of the canyon

Ray rock-hopped out to this small island to take a photo.

The trip back had some challenges - I can climb up on my belly to get from one rock to another but I couldn't get down that way. The rocks weren't always close to each other so you had to go down facing outward. Thank goodness, Ray stayed close! At one point I had to step down and out to a rock - about a 24" drop. I'm a short person and I have short legs. I still can't believe I made that without a fall! 

Many of the rocks that we were using to cross deeper water were sandy and/or wet so it was easy to slip. Luckily, we made it out of the canyon without incident. We were both tired last night and today I am stiff and sore but that's improving as the day goes along.

It was so nice to do a more normal hike and it was great to be outside on a brisk fall day.


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